I could ask for my specific application, but then I'd need to re-ask every time I need one, plus you frown upon "hardware recommendation" requests, so instead, I'm asking to teach me a method I can use and reuse whenever the need arises.
I'm developing a device and need a connector. I have a number of lines – some of them signal (analog (say, thermistor, speaker), or trivial binary, like a switch), some run power of known max amperage and voltage. These lines must be disconnectable from the board in a way more convenient than unscrewing them from a terminal block. I know how frequently the socket would be used, whether it would be hot-pluggable or not, and what's the required lifetime of the device. There might be data lines that require shielding, or an antenna line, though if considering these in the answer would make it too complex, feel free to ignore that part.
One thing I know is it's non-standard, so using any popular socket standard like DE15 (VGA connector) is asking for trouble, as some idiot is bound to try to connect a VGA monitor to it and destroy it.
I'm entering a catalogue… and I'm swamped.
I narrow it down to number of pins > min, < min+delta, similarly for voltage and I'm still getting at least 50 results to choose from, differing by parameters I have no clue about. I narrow it down to my precise needs and I have only one, a 4 kilogram plug+socket for under-sea applications, $15000/piece. Not something for a home workshop appliance.
What's the right approach?